Restorative Justice is a culture and set of practices that engage a community in building relationships and repairing harm through mutual, inclusive dialogue, understanding, and cooperation. A whole-school approach to Restorative Justice is more than a set of interventions aimed at students, but rather a way of being that touches all members of the school community and their relationships with each other.
As one DC educator shared, “One of my favorite parts is that Restorative Practices is so user-friendly. There is such a push on the academic piece nowadays and there is a disconnect between the educator and the youth. It is a problem that exists in so many of our schools. RP closes the distance between our educators, adults, and kids. This helps us keep connected as they are getting older. It’s a great tool. Not just reactive, but to build community.”
OSSE, is partnering with Restorative DC, a project of SchoolTalk Inc., to offer monthly trainings on Restorative Justice. In addition, a Community of Practice is held every second Tuesday of the month where participants will have opportunities to engage with other educators for peer support and professional learning.
Restorative Justice Professional Development
To view the full schedule of Restorative Justice professional development training opportunities for the 2018-19 school year, please see the attached flyer. To view and register for upcoming training opportunities that are now open for registration, please see the list of offerings below:
- March 29: Restorative Schools Overview
- April 10 and 11: Restorative Justice Film Screening Event: Circles
- April 26: Restorative Justice for Younger Learners
Restorative Justice Monthly Community of Practice
During the 2018-19 school year, OSSE will partner with Restorative DC, a project of SchoolTalk Inc., to convene a monthly Community of Practice (CoP). This CoP will discuss the implementation of Restorative Justice practices in District of Columbia schools, focusing on a particular topic each month. These practices center on building a safe and effective learning environment through positive relationships, connection, and accountability. Participants will have opportunities to engage with other educators for peer support and professional development, while experiencing how circles can be used to build community and resolve issues collectively.
The CoP is held on the second Tuesday of each month, from 9-11:30 a.m., and is open to LEAs that are currently implementing Restorative Justice practices or are interested in learning more about it. Regular attendance by at least one representative from each LEA is encouraged. The location rotates each month to a different school campus or library. Please view all dates, times, topics, and locations below.
For questions, please contact Jessica Dulay at [email protected].
2018-19 Restorative Justice CoP Schedule and Topics [Register]
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Building Community
Location: OSSE, 1050 First St. NE, Room 108
Description: Restorative Justice is a culture and set of practices that engage a community in building relationships and repairing harm through mutual, inclusive dialogue, understanding, and cooperation. A whole-school approach to Restorative Justice is more than a set of interventions aimed at students, but rather a way of being that touches all members of the school community and their relationships with each other. During this CoP session, we will be creating a dynamic space for representatives of schools and agencies, seasoned practitioners, and advocates to share experiences and lessons learned, address important questions and concerns, and develop tangible next steps for building strong school communities right from the beginning of the year.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Meeting the Social, Cultural, and Linguistic Needs of Our School
Location: Next Step Public Charter School, 3047 15th St. NW
Description: To be effective, Restorative Practices must be adapted to meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of those involved. In this Community of Practice session, we open up a sharing space to deepen our awareness of the diversity of experiences and identities in our school and neighborhood communities. We will explore how to be more inclusive in our work and call forth the potential growth that comes with honoring and connecting across our differences.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Restorative Communication for School Staff
Location: Center City Public Charter School-Trinidad Campus, 1217 West Virginia Ave. NE
Description: How Restorative Practices create spaces that tap into humans' empathic impulse to connect and be in the right relationship with one another. We will also support an exploration of what empathy means and an exchange of our experiences in bringing it into our daily conversations, especially those difficult interactions that flow from conflict or discipline issues.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Creating a Positive School Culture
Location: Columbia Heights Education Campus, 3101 16th St. NW
Description: In this CoP session, the topic will focus on creating a positive school culture. The culture and climate of a school is that quality of a school environment that describes our overall experience as students, staff, and families. It emerges from the relationships, interactions, language, infrastructure, traditions, symbols, and norms of a school. Intentionally creating a school climate and culture where everyone has a strong sense that they matter, belong, and are safe is an important aspect of a whole-school Restorative Justice approach.
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Building Support with Parents and Staff
Location: Walker-Jones Education Campus, 1125 New Jersey Ave. NW
Description: The January CoP will focus on building support with parents and staff. Whole school restorative change is about mobilizing the entire school in building community. In this CoP, we will learn from each other's experiences introducing restorative culture change and responding to resistance to it in a way that is aligned with restorative principles and encourages genuine ownership by the school community.
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Trauma Awareness, Mindfulness, and Self-Care
Location: Kelly Miller Middle School, 301 49th St. NE
Description: In the February CoP session, participants will explore the role trauma plays in our school communities and how restorative practices can be used to support those touched by trauma. Participants will use mindfulness practices as a way to support those (including ourselves) who have been touched by trauma and explore sources of resilience. Drawing on the experience in the room, participants will practice different stress-reduction techniques and share strategies for incorporating self-care into our lives.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Promoting Youth Leadership
Location: Ron Brown High School
Description: Without meaningful youth involvement, whole-school restorative efforts lack a critical voice, leave invaluable talent and resources untapped, and risk turning a powerful driver of school culture into an obstacle to change. In this Community of Practice, we will learn from each other's experiences making space for youth leadership to play a driving role in restorative school change in a way that is aligned with restorative principles and encourages genuine ownership by the school community.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Special Education and Restorative Justice Practices
Location: Bright Beginnings, 3418 4th St. SE
Description: National and DC-based data demonstrates that students with disabilities are more likely to be suspended, expelled, or involved with the juvenile justice system then their non-disabled peers. This disproportionality calls for practices that support the social and educational needs of all youth. Restorative Justice can be used to support educating youth, regardless of their social, emotional, physical, or intellectual abilities. Students with disabilities and trauma are a significant part of school populations and are disproportionately represented in school discipline cases. Even where there is no formal diagnosis, these students have varying capacities for sustained attention, social awareness, intellectual cognition, emotional regulation, memory, and expressive and receptive language. The April Community of Practice will be an opportunity for school staff, RJ practitioners, and community partners to explore the intersection of Restorative Justice and special education and how Restorative Justice practices can be utilized to support students with disabilities and their families, create inclusive school environments, and address the gap between students with disabilities and their peers receiving extreme disciplinary action.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 9-11:30 a.m.
Topic: Letting Go and Celebrating